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How discerning are we?

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Social networking has evolved far beyond the "let's do lunch" mentality of yesteryear as an ever-increasing number of individuals, businesses and organizations utilize inexpensive electronic publishing tools to reach new audiences.

But as the digital age leaps ahead, what questions are we asking ourselves to ensure that the norms traditionally associated with social interaction in the atom-based world are being carried over to the Internet?

I publish every day.

Whether in print or online via applications such as websites, electronic newsletters, Twitter and Facebook, producing and publishing content is not only a vital function of my job. It is a meaningful part of my life.

In recent months, while pausing from updating my blog on this site, I’ve had some interesting discussions on the ethics and etiquette of online publishing.

Here are a few questions I’ve been considering:

  • Has the blogosphere helped blur the lines between the hard-news articles, opinion pieces and paid advertising traditionally separated by credible media outlets?
  • How many companies shoot themselves in the proverbial foot with ceaseless self-promotion and clandestine sales tactics?
  • Do some people use their online prowess to bully, manipulate or silence those with differing opinions?
  • Does our ability to communicate electronically have any negative impact on real-world relationships?
  • Should our true personalities shine through online or should our avatars take on a life of their own?
  • How discerning are we, really?
On July 4, the Social Media Club, an international organization focused advancing social media literacy, celebrated “Freedom From Social Media Douchebaggery Day,” an event aimed at quelling self-promotional content.

I typically like to end my posts by asking HOW you are using social networking to build your brands, grow your businesses or advance your careers.

My penchant for consuming and sharing information goes far beyond my professional-development goals and regularly leads to fulfilling conversations that act as catalysts for personal growth.

Today, I’m asking WHY you use social networking to achieve your goals.

Regardless of the platforms we use to communicate – whether engaging with our peers and professional contacts at the lunch counter or on LinkedIn – we would do well to remember that it is our credibility – online and offline – that allows us to be taken seriously as we push out rich content to hungry audiences.

- Todd Razor
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Social media has spread its octopus hands all over the Internet... It has been raised as a giant in current days..

Is that a good thing or a bad thing? From the tone of you're comment, I assume you're not a huge fan? - TR

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